Voice of Sport

Team ‘Magical Kenya’ partners with in Indian Premier League cricket storms into semis

The Kenya Tourism Board, through its ‘Magical Kenya’ promotion have partnership with Rising Pune Supergiant, the Indian Premier League cricket franchise this season inspired by England star all-rounder Ben Stokes and has in its ranks Indian icon MS Doni and Australia’s Steven Smith as captain

Pune rout Kings XI for 73 to book second place: Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane was bowled by Zaheer Khan in the first ball of the chase, Delhi Daredevils v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL, Delhi, May 12

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Rising Pune Supergiant players walk out to the fieldduring the Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL match in Pune on Sunday

Rising Pune Supergiant players walk out to the field during the Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL match in Pune on Sunday

RISING Pune Supergiant, the cricket team partnering Kenya Tourism Board, on Sunday stormed into the play-offs, earning at least two more matches, and the opportunity for an Indian Premier League [IPL] title.

The ‘Magical Kenya’-branded Supergiant demolished Kings XI Punjab in their final regular season match at home to book a spot in the first qualifier against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday [Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai). Kolkata Knight Riders will take on defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator in Bengaluru [M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore] on Wednesday.

The Final will take place on Sunday (May 21) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad.

Jaydev Unadkat effected four crucial dismissals in the match, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Jaydev Unadkat effected four crucial dismissals in the match, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Ben Stokes shapes up for a pull shot in the Delhi Daredevils v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL match in Delhi on May 12

Ben Stokes shapes up for a pull shot in the Delhi Daredevils v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL match in Delhi on May 12

The Supergiant Australian skipper Steven Smith made a mention of the moisture in the Pune pitch, and his bowlers made excellent use of it with cross-seamers that tempted the on-the-up drive. On a bare surface, those deliveries come on nicely and batsmen can hit through the line. On this one, offering more purchase, such shots were ill-advised. The ball zipped through or bounced extra, and Kings XI were 32 for 5 in the “Powerplay”. They were then all out for their lowest total in the IPL – 73.

Jaydev Unadkat started it all, having the big-hitting Martin Guptill caught at short cover off the first ball of the game. He ran out Eoin Morgan with a direct hit from mid-on. A little later, he pulled off a smart, diving catch at short fine leg. Finally, he finished with 2 for 12, only four wickets behind Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the most successful bowler in IPL 2017, having played three fewer matches. Unadkat’s strike-rate of 10.8 is the second-highest among anyone that has taken 10 wickets in the tournament.

Skipper Steven Smith reacts in the field, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Skipper Steven Smith reacts in the field, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Manoj Tiwary does a Chanderpaul as he prepares to face a ball, Delhi Daredevils v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL, May 12

Manoj Tiwary does a ‘Chanderpaul’ as he prepares to face a ball, Delhi Daredevils v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL, May 12

“My palms were sweating when I was in the bus Shardul Thakur admitted in a mid-innings interview. But once he took a look at his workplace, he quickly perked up. “When we started, it [the ball] was sticking [in the pitch] a bit, and the cross-seamers worked.”

He had Shaun Marsh spooning a drive to mid-off in his second over, forced Rahul Tewatia to top-edge a pull to the wicketkeeper, and finally had Glenn Maxwell flicking a leg-stump half-volley into the hands of long leg. The Kings XI captain, who had pushed himself down to No. 6, finished IPL 2017 having played only 18 balls in the “Powerplay” and lost his wicket thrice.

Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi added 41 runs for the opening wicket, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi added 41 runs for the opening wicket, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Steven Smith backs away a mile to play through the off side, Delhi Daredevils v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL, Delhi, May 12

Steven Smith backs away a mile to play through the off side, Delhi Daredevils v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL, Delhi, May 12

Adam Zampa removed the two Sharmas - Ishant and Mohit - in the 16th over, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL , Pune, May 14

Another Australian, Adam Zampa removed the two Sharmas – Ishant and Mohit – in the 16th over, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL , Pune, May 14

Prior to Sunday, Ajinkya Rahane averaged 19.07, his lowest in a season since 2008, when he played only two matches. A target of 74, whilst being too little for a batsman to sink his teeth into, can still give him the opportunity to spend time at the crease. Rahane made sure to last the entirety of the chase, and hit the winning runs too, a six over long-on. Pune will want as many of their gun players in form to fill the hole that will be left by Ben Stokes – 316 runs and 12 wickets in 12 matches – who had to leaves for England  straight after the match and will sadly be missed in the semis and Final if the Supergiant get that far.

Kenya, once a proud cricketing nation that knocked on the door of Test status was a leading team in the ODI [One Day International] circuit and audaciously reached the semi-finals of the 2-003 Cricket World Cup, still believe there is benefit being involved in world cricket; the latest being using the popular Indian Premier League (IPL), the most attended cricket league in the world, to market the East African country’s tourism.

Jaydev Unadkat removed Martin Guptill off the first ball of the match, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Jaydev Unadkat removed Martin Guptill off the first ball of the match, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

The KTB has allocated about Sh25 million for the destination marketing and promotional campaigns in partnership with the IPL team the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). Kenya is banking on the ongoing cricket season in India to market her tourism products and create interest for travel into the country among the Indians. The Pune Supergiant players carry on the thigh of their playing trousers the badge of the rallying call of Kenya tourism “Magical Kenya”.

The KTB hopes to benefit from IPL’s global broadcast in over 15 countries and improve numbers of incoming visitors from India one of Kenya’s biggest sources of tourism. The KTB hopes to benefit from IPL’s global broadcast in over 15 countries in the league series that began in April and will run towards the end of May 21 2017.

Glenn Maxwell and Steven Smith share a moment ahead of the start of play, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Glenn Maxwell and Steven Smith share a moment ahead of the start of play, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

India is currently Kenya’s third largest tourist source market with KTB optimistic that engagement with cricket will help in propelling India to achieve number one status in arrivals, next few years. The arrival figures from India to Kenya for the close of the year 2016 posted 64,116 visitors up from 49,756 in 2015, indicating a growth of 28.9%.

And what a stroke of luck; that one of the best performing players in this year’s IPL flies “Magical Kenya”. England super star all-rounder Ben Stokes, the highest paid player in the league, has been playing super-heroic cricket for Supergiant spiraling the interest of IPL in England.

Steven Smith and MS Dhoni have a chat in the field, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Steven Smith and MS Dhoni have a chat in the field, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Manoj Tiwary was bowled off the last ball of the chase, Delhi Daredevils v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL, Delhi, May 12

Manoj Tiwary was bowled off the last ball of the chase, Delhi Daredevils v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL, Delhi, May 12

Shardul Thakur celebrates the wicket of Shaun Marsh, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

Shardul Thakur celebrates the wicket of Shaun Marsh, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Pune, May 14

2017 Indian Premier League: Standings

Teams Mat Won Lost Tied N/R Pts Net RR For Against
*1 Mumbai Indians 14 10 4 0 0 20 +0.784 2407/272.1 2242/278.1
*2 Rising Pune Supergiant 14 9 5 0 0 18 +0.176 2180/271.0 2165/275.1
*3 Sunrisers Hyderabad 14 8 5 0 1 17 +0.599 2221/252.0 2118/257.5
*4 Kolkata Knight Riders 14 8 6 0 0 16 +0.641 2329/260.5 2300/277.3
5 Kings XI Punjab 14 7 7 0 0 14 -0.009 2207/261.2 2229/263.4
6 Delhi Daredevils 14 6 8 0 0 12 -0.512 2219/276.2 2255/264.0
7 Gujarat Lions 14 4 10 0 0 8 -0.412 2406/269.5 2472/265.0
8 Royal Challengers Bangalore 14 3 10 0 1 7 -1.299 1845/260.0 2033/242.1

*Semi-finalists

SQUAD (Rising Pune Supergiant):

BATSMEN:

1 Ajinkya RABANE (India), 28, Right-hand bat, Right-arm medium bowl, salary $1.2mtrailer film Dunkirk

13 Faf du PLESSIS (South Africa), 32, Right-hand bat, Right-arm leg break bowl, $730,000

22 Mayank AGARWAL (India), 26, Right-hand bat, Right-arm leg break, $250,000

45 Manoj TIWARY (India), 31, Right-hand, Right-arm leg break, $77,000

49 Steve SMITH (Australia), 27, Right-hand, Right-arm leg break, $620,000

100 Usman KHAWAJA (Australia), 30, Left-hand, Right-arm medium pace, $150, 000

ALL-ROUNDERS:

5 Baba APARAJITH (India), 22, Right-hand, Right-arm off break, $15,000m

18 Ankit SHARMA (India), 26, Left-hand, Slow-left arm orthodox, $15,000

25 Mitchell MARSH (Australia), 25, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $740,000

29 Rajat BHATIA (India), 37, Right-hand, Right-hand medium, $93,000

52 Rahul TRIPATHI (India), 26, Right-hand, Right-arm medium, $15,000

54 Daniel CHRISTIAN (Australia), 33, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $150,000

55 Ben STOKES (England), 25, Left-hand, Right-arm fast-medium, $2.2m

555 Washington SUNDAR (India), 17, Left-hand, Right-arm off break, (Replacement signing)

WICKET-KEEPERS:

7 MS DHONI (India), 35, Right-hand, Right-arm medium, $1.9m

27 Ankush BAINS (India), 21, Right-hand, $15,000

Milind TANDON (India), 23, Right-hand, $15,000

BOWLERS:

1 Rahul CHAHAR (India), Right-hand, Right-arm leg break googly, $15,000

9 Deepak CHAHAR (India), 24, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $15,000

10 Shardul THAKUR (India), 25, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $31,000

11 Ashok DINDA (India), 33, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $77,000

63 Adam ZAMPA (Australia), 25, Right-hand, Right-arm leg break googly, $46,000

69 Lockie FERGUSON (Australia), 25, Right-hand, Right-arm fast, $77,000

77 Jaydev UNADKAT (India), 25, Right-hand, Left-arm medium fast, $46,000

99 Ravichandram ASHWIN (India), 30, Right-hand, Right-arm leg break googly, $1.2m

999 Imran TAHIR (South Africa), 38, Right-hand, Right-arm leg break googly, (Replacement signing)

Ishwar PANDEY (India), 27, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $31,000

Jaskaran SINGH (India), 25, Left-hand, Left-arm medium fast, $15,000

Saurabh KUMAR (India), 23, Left-hand, Slow left-arm orthodox, $15,000

-Additional reporting by Correspondents and Agencies